A Year In Review

From new centres to new appointments, here are the highlights from UL’s 2017.


September 2017 saw the announcement of CONFIRM, the new €47m centre for smart manufacturing, led by University of Limerick and UL Professor Conor McCarthy, with Tyndall National Institute, UCC, CIT, NUI Galway, AIT, Maynooth University and LIT as academic partners. Professor McCarthy said: “This innovation will enable consumer-driven mass customisation, where future Irish products will be tailored to individual needs, delivered directly to them in just hours.”

Awards days

110 scholarships worth nearly €280,000 were awarded by UL in 2017. As well as the 40 UL40 scholarships, 10 Mature and 33 Sports Scholarships, there were awards across engineering, nursing, arts and journalism. First year physics student Emily McCarthy secured the Stryker Scholarship valued at €10,160, while Engineering student Conor Carmody was presented with the Paddy Dooley Rowing Scholarship worth €2,500.

New chancellor

“UL is a nimble, responsive university at the forefront of innovation in pedagogy.” A glowing report from UL’s new Chancellor and Chairperson of UL’s Governing Authority, former Tánaiste Mary Harney on her new posting in January 2018. Mary’s tenure will extend to 2022.

Healthy campus

No smoking and no vaping signs popped up on campus last October as part of the university’s Healthy Campus Initiative. UL President, Dr Des Fitzgerald said: “This initiative is close to my heart – I believe it will enhance the overall health and wellbeing of our entire community”.

Atomic advances

A multi-million-Euro microscope funded by Science Foundation Ireland and UL was unveiled last summer at UL’s Bernal Institute. The Titan Themis microscope will allow researchers to study materials at an atomic level in real-world conditions and is one of only a handful of microscopes with these capabilities worldwide.

Researcher of the Year

Professor Mike Zaworotko, Bernal Chair of Crystal Engineering at UL was named the Science Foundation Ireland Researcher of the Year in November for his work on on fundamental and applied aspects of crystal engineering.

Policing graduates

188 gardaí graduated with Bachelors of Arts in Applied Policing, accredited by University of Limerick (UL), at a special conferring ceremony at the Garda Síochána College, Templemore, last October.

Legal honour

UL School of Law went to the top of the class last May when it was named the top law school in Ireland at the AIB Private Banking Irish Law Awards. Accepting the award, Professor Shane Kilcommins, head of the School of Law at UL, said it was a tribute to the commitment and dedication of the staff: “Every colleague contributes to the enhancement and development of the school.”